TechBits: flight technology (06.18.14) - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

TechBits: flight technology (06.18.14)

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The main technologies behind flying haven't had drastic change in decades.  Now, that's changing.

European aircraft company Airbus is set to release an electric airplane.  It's a departure form the petroleum engines that have been in use in aviation for about a century. The E-Fan is designed for short-term flights, particularly in the process of getting a pilot's license.

There's been talk for years of commercial flight to the the edge of space.  Now, some companies are building the aircraft that will take people there.  The flights are expected to start at about $250,000, but they will likely come down in price over time.  During the flights, people will experience about 6 minutes of weightlessness.

An artist's conception is out for a spacecraft designed to hit warp speed- which is faster than the speed of light.  The problem is that NASA scientists say the technology to drive the craft doesn't exist- and may not even be possible.

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